Bring out the marshmallow gloves. Goalkeep VR is a soccer sim that pits you against a never-ending onslaught of soccer balls. Available on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, raise your hands and raise your heart rate as you put your reflexes to the test.
This game is intense and if you’re not ready it will dominate you. With 8 game modes ranging from alternating hands to increasing speed or hands that shrink each time you block, Goalkeep VR is a great addition to any VR workout routine.
The VR Health Institute has tested GoalkeepVR and claims it burns 4-6 calories per minute. That is the equivalent to exercising on an elliptical. I choose to do “Free Mode” my whole session which slung a ball at me every second. I wore my Fitbit Charge 2 to measure my workout and did not do any warmups. Keep reading to see how I did in my 30-minute test.
Goalkeep VR does not lack in intensity. I’ve played this game many times before so I made sure not to fall into a common trap. The problem with many games is that gamers always find a way to break them and cheat. Let’s not break our workouts. This game is as intense as you want it to be. If you want to jump around like a maniac blocking, diving and flying from one side of the net to the other then go all out! If you stand in the middle and knock balls away by tapping them, you’re not going to get the results you want. I rated the intensity of Goalkeep VR based on the way I play, which is borderline insane. If you choose to take it easy, this could easily drop a few points.
Here are the stats from my 30-minute workout:
- Calories burned: 174
- Average heart rate: 108
- Max heart rate: 125
Not bad! Typically, I use Goalkeep VR as a 5-10 minute cooldown at the end of my playlist. If you’d like an added challenge, do Free Mode and try to keep your block percentage above 90%. If you’re at the end of your workout and you’re able to stay above 90% that means it’s time to increase the intensity of the rest of your workout (ie, more Hot Squat). Based on my stats, I’d put Goalkeep VR in the same category as Bitslap, Drunken Bar Fight, and Space Pirate Trainer.
Blocking is the whole point of this game. This means you’ll have your arms up at all times. Drop your hands and you’re likely to miss a ball. Though it might sound like a good idea, I do not recommend using wrist weights in this game as many movements are very jerky and could lead to joint injuries.
Legs depend on you. If you stand in place you’re not going to get a workout. Bend your knees, get your hands up and really lunge toward the ball. When a ball sails high, jump up and really extend. Unless you’re in a house with 10 ft ceilings. Then I’d advise you visit your local VR Arcade or Gym. Though your legs do get worked most of the calorie burn is from a full body workout. I also do not recommend ankle weights for this game.
Core and Balance 7/10
This is a good game for core and balance. Since you’re forced to react quickly, it’s likely you won’t realize you’re using your core. Feeling like a challenge? Bring out the weighted vest. When lunging for a ball make sure to extend and get the full rip through your abs. Also, film yourself. Goalkeep VR is very true to life and you may find yourself looking pretty cool extending for those corner shots.
Time Perception 6/10
At first, you’ll be overwhelmed. There’s no way to ease your way into Goalkeep VR going straight to Free Mode. I find that the game seems to slow down for me mentally as I get a better grip on the flow of the shots. Though blocking soccer balls non-stop for 30 minutes does get a little repetitive I still found the session enjoyable.
I wouldn’t play this for 30 minutes straight again. I think it’s a great cool down and playing for 5-10 minutes seems to be the sweet spot. It’s also important not to fall into the trap of taking breaks and tapping the balls away. Goalkeep VR is an intense burst of concentration that makes for a great addition to a playlist. I don’t know about playing it alone for 30 minutes at a time…unless you’re a goalie. But, with my current workout, I play this game 3 times a week.
Fitness Scalability 6/10
As mentioned above, playing Goalkeep VR regularly for thirty minutes to an hour may be intense but it also might get boring. As a cool down, I think it’s perfect. However, I do not recommend it as a warm-up. It’s extremely important to get your heart rate up at the beginning of the workout. Though Goalkeep VR does keep the heart rate going, when testing this as a warm-up, we found the game negatively impacted the intensity of the workout due to the inability to raise the heart-rate quickly. As a cool down, I’d rate it high. As a warm-up, I’d rate it low.
Lack of Nausea 9/10
GoalkeepVR is as close as you can get to being a real goalie blocking infinite soccer balls without hiring a school of 5th graders to bombard you. Due to the physical movements and the one to one tracking of the Vive I felt no motion sickness. If the workout gets too intense and you start feeling sick you can always adjust the frequency of shots by adjusting the vertical slider behind you.
Social Competition 1/10
Apart from block percentage there is no social competition in this game. There are no leader boards or other ways to measure success. There is however a mode in which a person outside the headset can click the screen and shoot a soccer ball at the person in VR. This is amusing as each soccer ball shoots in a straight line at approximately 9000 mph.
VRFI Fit Score 6/10
GoalkeepVR is a great goalie sim that can function as a cool down and help with hand eye coordination/reflexes. It’s quick to get into and requires no complicated controls. There are plenty of modes to test your skills and overall I find it to be an enjoyable exercise.
Playing for 30 minutes did get repetitive. Though I enjoy it as part of a workout I wouldn’t make it my whole workout. Even going all out, I found it difficult to get my heart rate up quickly and keep it up. Since there’s no real measure of success it’s also difficult to get a feeling of accomplishment that comes from games like Thrill of the Fight or Hot Squat.